While the world is trying to stop the import of 18 beluga whales into the United States – and stop it we must – there is a bait and switch going on. A smokescreen. A red herring. A man behind the curtain.
While we stop the import of whales that were caught from the wild, the aquarium industry thinks that it is two steps ahead of us on another front, as the Russians continue to capture beluga whales. I’m just here to tell ya, aquarium industry and suppliers of sentient beings for profit and non-profit, you are not fooling anyone or at least not everyone. Not that you are truly attempting to fool us; you just hope that we don’t notice.
But mark my words, we know like we know like we know, that the aquarium industry is on to their next project, called, “What If the Wild-Capture Import Fails.” And perhaps they designed it to fail. Perhaps that is why they asked for 18, and not 4 or 5. And why the Georgia Aquarium didn’t do a better job at demonstrating that the capture was humane. Or actually answering NOAA’s questions about transport. So it would fail. So they could justify their next chess move.
You see? If they can’t import these, the next doleful cry from the aquarium industry will be, “But, gosh, guys. Everyone likes to see beluga whales at weddings.” David Kimmel and Billy Hurley, of the Georgia Aquarium, were heard to testify at NOAA on October 12, 2012, that they had a “right” to these whales and that 90% of the American people support this effort, respectively.
So the next thing out of their playbook, says this gal who watches them, is that somewhere on this planet right now are the plans for marine mammal factory farms. And maybe it has investors. As if that would assuage the concern about “humane” taking. Well, of course, it wouldn’t. Because the definition of “taking” under the Marine Mammal Protection Act covers more than the hunting and capturing. It also includes the transport and detention. So when Russia captures these 12, with some for research, you bet your bottom dollar that the research will be a captive breeding program with dollar signs as its moral and ethical compass. But which apparently doesn’t consider that the long-term detention and being used as breed stock is itself, inhumane.
To all who care to stop this practice, it is time for vigilance.
- Step 1: Stop the beluga import. We’re all on that. Please leave your comment for NOAA by next Monday, October 29
- Step 2: Stop ANY effort to import marine mammals for display. Stay tuned in and tuned up.
Aquarium industry: the factory farming approach isn’t going to happen. Not at any scale. Not with the 18. Not with their progeny or the progeny of these new 12. Instead, start retraining and rehabilitating the animals you now have for release, if only to sea pens with more depth, real sea water, and greater expanse so that they can, once again, be more of the animals that they were meant to be, and not the wedding backdrop that you have made them.